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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Retro Review: Last Tap Dance in Springfield

AKA: Lisa takes tap dancing lessons while Bart and Milhouse camp out at the mall.

The Setup: At the mall to buy camp supplies for Bart, Lisa watches the film "Tango De La Muerte" and becomes determined to learn how to dance.


Favorite Lines:

Marge: Homer, sitting that close to the TV can't be good for you.
Homer: Talking while the TV's on can't be good for *you*.

Marge: I remember Little Vicki Valentine. Her perky smile and dancing brought America right out of the depression.
Lisa: Well, I think World War II helped a little, Mom.
Marge: Don't smart mouth, Lisa.

Wiggum: We'll catch that mall rat.
Lou: Sure hope this Acme kit works.
Wiggum: Gosh, that cheese looks good. Think I could grab it before that anvil hits?
Lou: Oh, I don't know, Chief. It's a million to one.
Wiggum: I like those odds! Ow! ... My mistake was grabbing the cheese.

Vicki: I'm sorry, Lisa, but giving everyone an equal part when they're clearly not equal is called what, again, class?
Class: Communism!
Vicki: That's right. And I didn't tap all those Morse code messages to the Allies 'til my shoes filled with blood to just roll out the welcome mat for the Reds.

Vicki: I'm ever so pissed!

Teebore's Take: After a string of episodes that ranged from mediocre to dull to horrible, this straight-forward and humorous episode was a relief. Dance teacher Vicki Valentine is pretty much an unlikeable bitch, but she satirizes well the Shirley Temple/child star "feel good" musical films of the forties. The portion of an old "Little Vicki" movie that Lisa watches-complete with a caricatured, good-natured African-American butler and a dancing cat-is worth the price of admission itself. The subplot involving Bart and Milhouse camping out at the mall is a bit over-the-top but funny nonetheless, particularly Chief Wiggum's boneheaded attempts at using a mountain lion to kill the giant rat to which he's attributing Bart and Milhouse's shenanigans.


Zaniness:

Bart's story is a bit unbelievable, but no more so than the plot of your average 80s teen comedy. And the self-tapping shoes Professor Frink gives Lisa at the end are pretty zany, but aside from that, this is a fairly "normal" episode.

Jerk-ass Homer:

Homer is barely in this one, aside from getting laser eye surgery in the beginning and failing to recognize Professor Frink's attempts at making Lisa feel better at the end.

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